I was excited by the prospect of listening to Raylan, as I've become a fan of not only Elmore Leonard's novels but also the the TV Series Justified. While the book is only six hours long for the unabridged version, I've still yet to finish it, I find it so bad. Normally I finish one book before I purchase another, but it's almost as if I am looking for any other book so I don't have to finish this one.
If you've spent any time watching the show, skip listening to the book. The plot is basically just a rehash of seasons one and two, only the characters have been given different names in several instances. The book is also covering some of the story arc from season three too.
Not wanting to get into plot spoilers, I must say that the folks putting together the writing for the TV series have done a far better job than Leonard has done for this book. It's as if he wanted to cash in on the Justified success, and phoned it in by ripping pages directly from the scripts and trying to tailor them to his new novel. Pronto, Riding the Rap, and Tishimingo Blues are far better examples of Leonard's work. I'd recommend avoiding this novel, but if you feel that you must listen to it, wait till it drops under $10...
Having run out of books by my favorite authors (Griffin, Clancy, Flynn, Demille, etc) to read, I was looking for something new to spend my most recent credit on. I came across Mike Maden's Drone. In an age where a large bit of our military capability has been outsourced to private military contractors, this book seemed to be incredibly timely and indicative of the world we currently live in. The story was riveting and kept a nice pace all the way through. I felt that the end was a little weak, but not enough to take away from the overall story. It was good enough that I hope we will see more from Maden, and his character Troy Pierce.
I'm actually quite a fan of the Alex Hawke series, and up until this book I felt that all of Bell's other books weren't bad at all. It's not that this was a bad story, or even a bad book but it felt very rushed at the end. There was a lot of time spent on all the rising action (as well as remembering things that had happened in previous Hawke Novels), and when it came time for the climax/denouement it was kind of dissatisfying. John Shea's performance as Lord Hawke, was as good as any of his other ones, I think if you've listened to any of the other books in the series, then this one is an OK companion to the rest of them. If you're new to the series, I highly recommend starting at one of the earlier novels where the story seems to flow a little better.
I've just recently started getting into W.E.B. Griffin's works. In fact I almost didn't start reading them; as WWI and WWII aren't really periods of history that I'd particularly enjoyed reading about in the past, and I was afraid that I was going to be bored to death. OK, so it turns out I was wrong, and I came to the party a bit late. On the plus side, when I'm finished with one Griffin novel, I can move right on to another with out any delay
The Corps series, just like the Brotherhood of War, Presidential Agent, and Honor Bound Series, does not disappoint. Griffin does a good job of giving the characters their own personalities (Though having read all four of the above series series, I do at times feel as I could swap Pick Pickering and Ken McCoy in the Corps Series for Craig Lowell and Sandy Felter in the Brotherhood Series or for some of the characters in the other series). He's a masterful storyteller, weaving fictional characters into the lives of some of the more famous people of the period.
Dick Hill does a great job of bringing these characters to life. I've found that pretty much anything that he reads, is going to be well done. I have a feeling the man could read the phone book and some how make it engrossing.
Each of of these books can be read on it's own, but Griffin rewards those who read the series by developing his characters further and further as the series goes along. By the time you get through seven to ten books in a series, you begin to feel like you have an understanding of what each character's motivations are.
If you are a fan of great story telling and character development, take a chance and pick up Semper Fi.
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